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Airline(s) Policy On Using Thrust Reversers  
User currently offlineCoa747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 4556 times:

I have read in several articles that many airports around the world have restrictions on reverse thrust especially at night. Most of the airports recommend only using idle reverse when runway conditions and landing distance allow. So my question is do most airlines have specific policies regarding the use of thrust reversers if so what are they?

25 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31679 posts, RR: 56
Reply 1, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 4470 times:

Out here as on date there are no SOPs related to T/R deployment due to Noise.However SOPs are present to state T/R use where needed to reduce Brake life.
regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineCoa747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 4449 times:

I guess I wasn't really clear, sorry for that but what I was tyring to get at is do certain airlines specify to use idle reverse as standard policy unless more is needed given runway conditions and landing distance. Because it would seem to me that airports have to be careful with these policies because if there was an accident in which a plane over ran the runway it is likely the investigators would be interested to know what the airline's policy on T/R was and also how the airport restriction even on a voluntary basis may have contributed.

User currently offlineZeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 9029 posts, RR: 75
Reply 3, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 4445 times:

Quoting Coa747 (Thread starter):
So my question is do most airlines have specific policies regarding the use of thrust reversers if so what are they?

They would normally go along the lines of doing what the state in question wants, e.g. idle reverse, unless operationally required.

The state notes normally say idle reverse to be used "unless operationally required", e.g. wet, contaminated runway etc, or any time the pilot thinks they need it.

No one awards medals for going off the end of a runway quietly.



We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31679 posts, RR: 56
Reply 4, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 4428 times:

When the choice comes down to Noise & safety the latter will always get priotity.
regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlinePhilSquares From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 4419 times:

Quoting Coa747 (Thread starter):
So my question is do most airlines have specific policies regarding the use of thrust reversers if so what are they?

Not to give a "one size fits all" answer, but newer aircraft have carbon brakes which have very different wear characteristics than the old steel brakes. As a result, they're much more effective at higher speeds than compared to the old type brakes. So, most airlines, conditions permitting (weather, aircraft configuration) will recommend idle reverse and wheel braking.

There are several airports in Europe request the crews use minimum reverse and minimum flap setting, conditions permitting. However, it's always up to the PIC to use his judgement on reverse thrust. Using minimum reverse and manual braking is much less expensive than using full reverse.

As Zeke said, there are no prizes for going off the end of the runway quietly!


User currently offlineQantas744ER From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 1288 posts, RR: 4
Reply 6, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 4311 times:

On the 744 i know as a fact that SQ and UA will always use idle reverse if possible.

A typical landing config would be:

Flaps 25-30 (Only a small difference in REF Speed)
Autobrakes 2
Idle Reverse

But like PhilSquares once told me Big grin

When landing on a snow covered runway in ANC at 300 tonnes in the 747-400F

it will be:

Flaps 30
Autobrakes 3
Full Reverse

Again these are just some of the possible variations of autobrakes and flap settings for the 744 but Idle Reverse will always be used if possible and safe.



Happiness is V1 in Lagos
User currently offlineBond007 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 5413 posts, RR: 8
Reply 7, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 4295 times:

Quoting Coa747 (Reply 2):
Because it would seem to me that airports have to be careful with these policies because if there was an accident in which a plane over ran the runway it is likely the investigators would be interested to know what the airline's policy on T/R was and also how the airport restriction even on a voluntary basis may have contributed.

Well, yes and no  Wink

The headlines would say that "airliner crashed off end of runway due to anti-noise NIMBYs", but the truth of the matter is:

1) He shouldn't have been landing if he couldn't have stopped without reverse thrust (with some exceptions maybe).
2) The pilot has final authority as for the safe operation of the flight. If that means applying T/Rs during a noise curfew, then so be it.


Jimbo



I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
User currently offlineCoa747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 4105 times:

Thanks for the replys. I was curious how the carbon brakes played into the reverse thrust issue. I was not aware that some airports suggest minimal flap settings. This would seem to be a bigger issue as minimal flap settings will raise your landing speed considerably I would think, in conjunction with idle reverse could be a problem. I guess it would depend on what is considered a minimum setting.

I guess the next question I would have is from a pilot's prospective how do you view these reverse thrust restrictions in place at airports.


User currently offlineApodino From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 4263 posts, RR: 6
Reply 9, posted (7 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 4001 times:

At my company, policy is for idle reverse only unless you either have a short runway, a contaminated runway, or something like a flap failure. This is why if you ever fly my company you will rarely hear thrust reversers at all on landing in most places, save for maybe 35 in PHL or 33 in DCA or one of the outstations.

User currently offlineBond007 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 5413 posts, RR: 8
Reply 10, posted (7 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 3936 times:

Remember at the best of times, reverse thrust gives you a very small percentage of extra braking power ... as opposed to the noise (and weight of thust reversers), and increased maintenance. It's something like 5% for a dry runway, so using reverse thrust in good conditions gives you very little except noise. The braking effect increases for contaminated runways, but still only around 17-20% (yes, could make a difference in stopping or not).

The brake saving argument alone, really doesn't fly. A study was done a few years back, which concluded for every $10,000 saved in brake maintenance from using reverse thrust, it cost over $40,000 in thrust reverser maintenance, without adding in the weight costs.

Now, of course, for contaminated runways, there is no question, and even at those runways where there is a reverse thrust curfew, presumably the Captain can still use them whenever he sees fit.

Jimbo



I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
User currently onlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17029 posts, RR: 67
Reply 11, posted (7 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 3917 times:

Quoting Coa747 (Reply 8):
This would seem to be a bigger issue as minimal flap settings will raise your landing speed considerably I would think,

Well, I'm not an expert, but the difference in landing speed between the last two flap settings doesn't tend to be THAT great. Also, most airliners will be landing pretty far from maximum landing weights, meaning that in many (most?) cases less than full flaps is just fine anyway.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineTornado82 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (7 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 3770 times:

Quoting Apodino (Reply 9):


At my company, policy is for idle reverse only unless you either have a short runway, a contaminated runway, or something like a flap failure. This is why if you ever fly my company you will rarely hear thrust reversers at all on landing in most places, save for maybe 35 in PHL or 33 in DCA or one of the outstations.

2 years ago one of your boys used the hell out of them at ABE on a very windy night coming in on relatively short r/w 31. A bit unnecessary, considering he turned off after only using about 3000' of the runway, but a hell of a fun landing regardless.  Smile


User currently offlineQantas744ER From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 1288 posts, RR: 4
Reply 13, posted (7 years 4 months 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 3640 times:

Talking to a QF 744 F/O i found out following:

Since the QF 744 BKK overrunn in 99 Qantas has changed its SOP in the 744.

The QF F/O told me that in 90% of the landings they will do Flaps 30, Autobrakes 3 and Full reverse, even if not fully necessarry this is the most used setting for them after this accident. Compared to SQ with a usual Flaps 30, Autobrakes 2 and Idle Reverse.

The other 10% of landings where they have a long rollout requested by ATC they will use Full reverse but only autobrake 1 or 2 or like in LHR from 23:30 localt time to 6:20 local time where Thrust reverse should only be used if necesary because of noise abatement they in this case will just keep Autobrakes 3 and Idle reverse.

Leo



Happiness is V1 in Lagos
User currently offlineSlovacek747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (7 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 3374 times:

Since thrust reversers weigh so much more, is it possible to order a plane without them? Would it make sense for someone like Southwest to order a batch of 737 without them that would only fly to places with longer runways and have a few planes with them that fly to places like SNA, BUR, etc...It seems like they could save a lot of $ on fuel because of the weight and maintenance because of the use.

Slovacek747


User currently offlineTornado82 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (7 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 3369 times:

Quoting Slovacek747 (Reply 14):
Would it make sense for someone like Southwest to order a batch of 737 without them that would only fly to places with longer runways and have a few planes with them that fly to places like SNA, BUR, etc...

Southwest's whole "business plan" revolves around interchangeability. Adding specialized members to the fleet shoots that straight to hell.


User currently offlineBond007 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 5413 posts, RR: 8
Reply 16, posted (7 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 3341 times:

Quoting Slovacek747 (Reply 14):
Since thrust reversers weigh so much more, is it possible to order a plane without them? Would it make sense for someone like Southwest to order a batch of 737 without them that would only fly to places with longer runways

It wouldn't make any difference since thrust reversers can only be used in landing distance calculations for the NG models (and then only comtaminated runways?). I know the NTSB was trying to get this changed after the MDW crash .. i.e. never taken into accounf for any type.

Jimbo



I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31679 posts, RR: 56
Reply 17, posted (7 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 3331 times:

Quoting Slovacek747 (Reply 14):
Since thrust reversers weigh so much more, is it possible to order a plane without them

T/Rs are vital.presuming the Brakes don't function due to hydraulic loss of that system.
regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineTroubleshooter From Germany, joined Feb 2005, 423 posts, RR: 5
Reply 18, posted (7 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 3272 times:

Quoting Slovacek747 (Reply 14):
Since thrust reversers weigh so much more, is it possible to order a plane without them?

You can order the ERJ either with or without thrust reversers. All Crossair (Swiss) EMB145 did not had them installed.

ERJ without thrust reverser

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Marco Toso - SpotIT



ERJ with thrust reverser

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Keith Ogden




This job sucks!!! I love this job!!!
User currently offlineBond007 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 5413 posts, RR: 8
Reply 19, posted (7 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 3266 times:

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 17):
T/Rs are vital.presuming the Brakes don't function due to hydraulic loss of that system.

Yes, I agree they are a great help on contaminated runways (wet, slush, snow), but I think their fairly limited effect would mean coming off the end of the runway in a no-brake situation anyway (except on a long runway). Don't forget the fact that as the post above explains, it's sometimes an option.

Don't know if anyone has any stats on aircraft slowing using only thrust reversers.

Come to think of it .... aren't they activated by hydraulic power?? I assume you were only talking about loss to the brake system though, not a complete hydraulic failure.

Jimbo



I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
User currently onlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17029 posts, RR: 67
Reply 20, posted (7 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 3264 times:

Quoting Bond007 (Reply 19):
Come to think of it .... aren't they activated by hydraulic power?? I assume you were only talking about loss to the brake system though, not a complete hydraulic failure.

I believe there are several variants depending on engine/aircraft. Some are hydraulic.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31679 posts, RR: 56
Reply 21, posted (7 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 3259 times:

Quoting Bond007 (Reply 19):
I assume you were only talking about loss to the brake system though, not a complete hydraulic failure.

True.
Why have an option without T/Rs on the ERJs.
regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineTroubleshooter From Germany, joined Feb 2005, 423 posts, RR: 5
Reply 22, posted (7 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 3234 times:

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 21):
Why have an option without T/Rs on the ERJs.

Money... Big grin



This job sucks!!! I love this job!!!
User currently offlineBond007 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 5413 posts, RR: 8
Reply 23, posted (7 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 3218 times:

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 21):
Why have an option without T/Rs on the ERJs.

Well, no expert, but I'm guessing there must be a small performance advantage perhaps (due to weight) ... but yes, purchase price, and I'm no maintenance guy either, but I understand the maintenance cost of thrust reversers is quite high.


Jimbo



I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31679 posts, RR: 56
Reply 24, posted (7 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days ago) and read 3185 times:

Quoting Troubleshooter (Reply 22):
Money...



Quoting Bond007 (Reply 23):
Well, no expert, but I'm guessing there must be a small performance advantage perhaps (due to weight) ... but yes, purchase price, and I'm no maintenance guy either, but I understand the maintenance cost of thrust reversers is quite high

If the balance of no T/Rs v/s $ saved a proven fact then most airlines would have opted for the lack of T/Rs.

regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineBond007 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 5413 posts, RR: 8
Reply 25, posted (7 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 3163 times:

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 24):
If the balance of no T/Rs v/s $ saved a proven fact then most airlines would have opted for the lack of T/Rs.

Oh, there's no doubt that this is a proven fact. There is no money saved by having T/Rs at all. It costs around 4 times as much to maintain T/Rs, as the savings gained from not using brakes ... without the added weight costs, and initial purchase.

The question is whether they are needed from an operational or safety standpoint. Presumably, the accelerate-stop distance on contaminated runways must be acceptable to some operators, without T/Rs. I assume the accelerate-stop distance must be significantly longer (up to 20%?), but if you are always operating into airports with 10,000ft runways, then this would not be a dispatch issue.

Embraer did need some kind of exemption for this option (for FAR Part 25). It is classified as a "novel, or unique design", since the FAA did not anticipate any passenger jets being designed without T/Rs.


Jimbo



I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
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